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Biography of T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot (1888 - 1965)

Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri, of an old New England family. He was educated at Harvard and did graduate work in philosophy at the Sorbonne, Harvard, and Merton College, Oxford. He settled in England, where he was for a time a schoolmaster and a bank clerk, and eventually literary editor for the publishing house Faber & Faber, of which he later became a director. He founded and, during the seventeen years of its publication (1922-1939), edited the exclusive and influential literary journal Criterion. In 1927, Eliot became a British citizen and about the same time entered the Anglican Church.

Eliot has been one of the most daring innovators of twentieth-century poetry. Never compromising either with the public or indeed with language itself, he has followed his belief that poetry should aim at a representation of the complexities of modern civilization in language and that such representation necessarily leads to difficult poetry. Despite this difficulty his influence on modern poetic diction has been immense. Eliot's poetry from Prufrock (1917) to the Four Quartets (1943) reflects the development of a Christian writer: the early work, especially The Waste Land (1922), is essentially negative, the expression of that horror from which the search for a higher world arises.

In Ash Wednesday (1930) and the Four Quartets this higher world becomes more visible; nonetheless Eliot has always taken care not to become a "religious poet". and often belittled the power of poetry as a religious force. However, his dramas Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and The Family Reunion (1939) are more openly Christian apologies. In his essays, especially the later ones, Eliot advocates a traditionalism in religion, society, and literature that seems at odds with his pioneer activity as a poet. But although the Eliot of Notes towards the Definition of Culture (1948) is an older man than the poet of The Waste Land, it should not be forgotten that for Eliot tradition is a living organism comprising past and present in constant mutual interaction. Eliot's plays Murder in the Cathedral (1935), The Family Reunion (1939), The Cocktail Party (1949), The Confidential Clerk (1954), and TheElderStatesman(1959) were published in one volume in 1962; Collected Poems 1909-62 appeared in 1963.



45 Poems written by T.S. Eliot

The poems are by default sorted according to volume, but you can also choose to sort them alphabetically or by page views.

Volume | Alphabetically | [Page Views] | Comments | First Lines


Page ViewsPoemComments
47692 Macavity: The Mystery Cat Comments and analysis of Macavity: The Mystery Cat by T.S. Eliot 43 Comments
35127 The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Comments and analysis of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot 245 Comments
26758 The Rum Tum Tugger Comments and analysis of The Rum Tum Tugger by T.S. Eliot 9 Comments
26741 Preludes Comments and analysis of Preludes by T.S. Eliot 133 Comments
25234 The Hippopotamus Comments and analysis of The Hippopotamus by T.S. Eliot 29 Comments
21294 The Waste Land Comments and analysis of The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot 14 Comments
21132 The Old Gumbie Cat Comments and analysis of The Old Gumbie Cat by T.S. Eliot 24 Comments
18689 Sweeney among the Nightingales Comments and analysis of Sweeney among the Nightingales by T.S. Eliot 96 Comments
17140 Rhapsody on a Windy Night Comments and analysis of Rhapsody on a Windy Night by T.S. Eliot 80 Comments
16699 A Cooking Egg
15660 Bustopher Jones: The Cat About Town Comments and analysis of Bustopher Jones: The Cat About Town by T.S. Eliot 15 Comments
15463 The Hollow Men Comments and analysis of The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot 267 Comments
15274 Mungojerrie And Rumpelteazer Comments and analysis of Mungojerrie And Rumpelteazer by T.S. Eliot 17 Comments
13683 Morning at the Window Comments and analysis of Morning at the Window by T.S. Eliot 20 Comments
13336 Gus: The Theatre Cat Comments and analysis of Gus: The Theatre Cat by T.S. Eliot 73 Comments
12060 Growltiger's Last Stand Comments and analysis of Growltiger's Last Stand by T.S. Eliot 1 Comment
11001 Four Quartets 2: East Coker
10415 The Boston Evening Transcript Comments and analysis of The Boston Evening Transcript by T.S. Eliot 28 Comments
9567 Aunt Helen Comments and analysis of Aunt Helen by T.S. Eliot 61 Comments
8587 Four Quartets 3: The Dry Salvages
8343 Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar Comments and analysis of Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar by T.S. Eliot 3 Comments
8154 Mr. Eliot’s Sunday Morning Service
5844 Mr. Apollinax
5663 Lune de Miel
5445 Dans le Restaurant
5122 Le Directeur
4497 Mélange Adultère de Tout
2730 Ash Wednesday Comments and analysis of Ash Wednesday by T.S. Eliot 131 Comments
2675 Journey Of The Magi Comments and analysis of Journey Of The Magi by T.S. Eliot 69 Comments
2596 The Naming Of Cats Comments and analysis of The Naming Of Cats by T.S. Eliot 113 Comments
1480 The Ad-Dressing Of Cats Comments and analysis of The Ad-Dressing Of Cats by T.S. Eliot 25 Comments
876 Four Quartets 1: Burnt Norton Comments and analysis of Four Quartets 1: Burnt Norton by T.S. Eliot 21 Comments
862 Mr. Mistoffelees Comments and analysis of Mr. Mistoffelees by T.S. Eliot 31 Comments
778 Gerontion Comments and analysis of Gerontion by T.S. Eliot 130 Comments
730 The Song Of The Jellicles Comments and analysis of The Song Of The Jellicles by T.S. Eliot 5 Comments
666 Portrait of a Lady Comments and analysis of Portrait of a Lady by T.S. Eliot 64 Comments
609 Whispers of Immortality Comments and analysis of Whispers of Immortality by T.S. Eliot 12 Comments
607 Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat Comments and analysis of Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat by T.S. Eliot 94 Comments
546 Cousin Nancy Comments and analysis of Cousin Nancy by T.S. Eliot 3 Comments
500 Old Deuteronomy Comments and analysis of Old Deuteronomy by T.S. Eliot 1 Comment
490 Four Quartets 4: Little Gidding Comments and analysis of Four Quartets 4: Little Gidding by T.S. Eliot 71 Comments
482 La Figlia che Piange Comments and analysis of La Figlia che Piange by T.S. Eliot 87 Comments
473 Conversation Galante Comments and analysis of Conversation Galante by T.S. Eliot 72 Comments
444 Hysteria Comments and analysis of Hysteria by T.S. Eliot 70 Comments
419 Sweeney Erect Comments and analysis of Sweeney Erect by T.S. Eliot 72 Comments


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